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Redfish Lake Campground Evacuated Due to Fire
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The Bench Lakes are a popular destination for Redfish Lake day hikers and backpackers.
   
Friday, July 12, 2024
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

A fire burning between the second and third Bench Lakes prompted the evacuation of the Inlet Campground on the west side of Redfish Lake Thursday night.

The fire, which is seven miles south of Stanley and southwest of Redfish Lake, started around 12:30 PM Thursday in the Sawtooth Wilderness.

The fire has grown to 40 acres.

The Custer County Sheriff’s Office helped with the evacuation of the Inlet Campground at the far side of the lake from Redfish Lake Lodge. The campground is accessible only by boat.

A helicopter was deployed to make water drops while one crew was tasked with hiking in.  However, the helicopter crashed about 6 p.m. during the initial attack of the fire, according to Forest Service workers. Visitors to the area said thepilot survived.

The cause is under investigation.

A Type 3 incident management team is managing the wildland fire. Temperatures in Stanley are expected to reach a high of 89 or 90 degrees, with north winds shifting to west at 10 to 15 miles per hour.

Smoke column was visible from part of the valley Thursday night. And the fire appeared to be growing, according to Stanley Mayor Steve Botti.

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Redfish Lake Campground Evacuated Due to Fire

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